KLA Announces First Recipients of Social Equity Funding

PRNewswire | 04-07-2021

The KLA Foundation announced first round recipients of the American Heart Association - KLA Social Equity Fund, created to help reduce the social and economic barriers to health equity in the Metro Detroit and South Bay/Silicon Valley areas over the next three years. From over 60 nonprofits who submitted expressions of interest, five organizations will receive grants from an initial $530K round of funding to combat root causes of systemic inequities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including food and housing insecurity, mental health, safety, and job instability. The grant recipients, Peaches and Greens, Detroit Life is Valuable Everyday (D.L.I.V.E), Keep Growing Detroit, International Children Assistance Network, and Midtown Family Services, were announced at a virtual awards ceremony held on March 31, 2021 and attended by senior members of KLA Corporation, KLA Foundation, and the American Heart Association.

"The selected organizations reflect our shared belief that local individuals and organizations drive meaningful social change," said John Van Camp, executive vice president, human resources, at KLA. "While unrelenting in fulfilling their mission, they can't do it alone. Support must come from many places, and through the AHA-KLA Social Equity Fund, we can identify, support and champion those who are transforming the communities they serve."

A hyper-local strategy informed by local health and business needs drives the social equity fund's investments in organizations that deeply understand the critical issues their communities face. The recipients were selected based on their ability to provide transformational community services and resources that uplift and empower. The grant funding will impact the nonprofit organizations and their communities in the following ways: 

Metro Detroit

South Bay/Silicon Valley

"We are so excited to receive this grant," said Peaches and Greens founder Lisa Johanon. "The potential to make an impact is incredible and we are honored to be recipients of funding from the American Heart Association and KLA. As valuable as the grant is, I am equally pleased to have a team who truly cares about us and the project. They are committed and rooting for our collective success."

Long before the coronavirus pandemic, systemic challenges have impeded many individuals from living longer, healthier lives. In the U.S. approximately 50 million people are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease because they lack necessities like nutritious food, clean air and drinking water, quality education, employment, and housing. As people of color continue to bear the impact of social, economic and health disparities, they also face higher potential risk for severe COVID-19 complications. 

"The AHA and KLA recognize COVID-19 has made it that much more challenging to support those at highest risk, but believe that racial and social injustice demand action," added Maria Gonzalez Olson, regional senior vice president at the American Heart Association. "We're stronger when we're together. The social equity fund helps make our collective vision of closing the equity gap possible."